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Mary Carreiro interview with Tales of Cape Cod, May 15, 1978 in Provincetown, MA. Born in 1903, Mary recalls how her father came to Provincetown as a stowaway on a fishing vessel from the Azore Islands and working off the cost of passage after he was brought to the customs office.She describes Provincetown before World War I. Tells of trains and boats coming to Provincetown in the summer and the large boat the Dorothy Bradford carried 1200-1300 people. She tells of her first jobs at 13 where she was paid $1.50 per week washing silverware and glasses at the Atlantic house. She also worked 8 years as a telephone operator starting in 1923 and making $12.50 a week. Mary describes how difficult it was to work on the switchboard in a thunderstorm with lightening affecting the board. She describes outdoor plumbing, social life on Sunday afternoons, preparing for holidays and making do with very little money. Her family raised chickens, pigs and vegetables. Cabbages were wrapped in newspaper and put in a barrel that was buried in the ground. Also tells of going to the movies for 5 cents and spending time on the beach and not having the money to buy ice cream from vendors. Would eat corn as a snack on the beach.
The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is located at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts.
For more information about the Collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives athttp://www.nickersonarchives.org/.
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